September 17, 2021 – Riverside Campground, Hatch, UT
Well, my editor finally got around to his editing duties for this blog – although as you will see he is far from finished. I told him to publish what he has available to date so if you are interested in the remainder of this year’s voyage please standby; you can’t rush fine wine (insert laughing emoji here).
August 3, 2021
Here we go again, if I look unhappy in this photo its because all the stuff they are packing for the trip is for the old man and Patty, no dog treats in sight.
Once again it’s time to escape the heat and humidity of Annapolis and head west. This year the trip will take us into the teeth of a severe drought and record-setting wild fires. I told my person that as long as he can afford his air-conditioning bill, I would be happy to stay put this summer rather than risk him driving us into a raging inferno or, just as likely, into a pack of ravenous grizzly bears looking for a four-legged snack. Fortunately, his new bride came to my rescue with her desire to attend her 50th high school reunion in Escanaba Michigan on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, better known as the UP, home of the Yoopers.
As usual, last names of persons mentioned in this blog are withheld to protect the innocent, and to keep my person out of liability court.
Our very first stop is Shanksville, PA and the Flight 93 National Memorial. No other stop on this trip will be as impactful as this.
August 3, 2021 – Bradford Woods, PA.
We spent the night at Tom’s house in Bradford Woods. In addition to having a free place to sleep and eat (always a priority with the old man) he was able to introduce his new bride, Patty, to Bill, Steve and Dick, his ATO frat brothers from his college days at Wittenberg University. There are many stories to be told about these college days (I’m still not convinced he actually attended classes) and the ensuing lives of these good men, however, due to the litigious nature of our society these tales will appear exclusively on the dark web (along with the photos from this evening) in the X-rated version of this blog.
August 4, 2021 – Butler, PA.
First stop – Ellen’s 200 acre Pennsylvania Resort, Butler PA. It’s good to see my brother Chessie and all my nieces and nephews and other assorted Brittanys at Ellen’s place. As you can see I am checking out Chessie’s equipment to make sure I’m still bigger than him.
This is as close to deep water as I get; the old man never taught me to swim and I don’t trust him as a life guard at his age.
Butt sniffing, other than eating, it’s my favorite activity.
Ellen’s PA Resort, almost off the grid, a very nice place.
August 5, 2021 – Happy Birthday Noah
Arrived in St. Ignace, MI after 8 hour drive from Ellen’s
Crossing the Mackinac Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere (according to the old man’s Google Machine) and gateway to the UP, his bride’s native land (and boy, is it different!).
August 6, 2021 – Ferryboat ride to Mackinac Island, MI
Just another day in my life as a “pet quality” Brittany as shown below:
View from a high point on Mackinac Island
As you can see, the old man has to restrain me from upsetting the balance of nature on the lawn of the Grand Hotel. (Editors note – More evidence that Coach is growing old like me, he’s stalking these geese on his butt – our favorite position for doing many things these days.)
The Grand Hotel – they want $10 a head just to set foot in the lobby so I had to be satisfied with peeing on their nice front yard (I could have done worse but I didn’t want to upset Patty).
August 7, 2021 – Munising, MI – Marquette, MI
This is a photo of a map of the Great Lakes Lighthouses, taken by my person in the living room of his new friends, the Theorets (first names are redacted because he can’t remember then). He and Patty met them at the Barge Inn bar and grill in downtown Munising the night before (not surprising they met in a bar). It turned out Mr. Theoret was from the Escanaba area so a bond was established and we were invited on a boat tour of the scenic coast of Lake Superior the next day. The photos below were taken on this tour and I was invited!
Outstanding Lakeshore Scenery – according to my person…active coal piles never fail to excite him.
One of the numerous Great Lakes lighthouses shown on the map above.
“Feets Don’t Fail Me Now” – the old man doing what he does best.
Massive sandstone cliff covered by abundant midwestern vegetation – the old man can’t wait to get out west where the vegetation doesn’t befoul the scenery.
More crappy vegetation hiding the lakeshore geology. The old man was surprised to see Caribbean-like water this far north. Patty had to restrain him from jumping in with a cold Corona in his hand…after all the water temperature is cold enough to cause death after 10 minutes of emersion.
The southern shore of Lake Superior as seen from atop of the 275′ Grand Marais Sand Dunes.
Vegan Unfriendly restaurant near Munising.
I really wanted to meet this guy as he would probably be a welcome contrast to my sluggish master.
Music at the Barge Inn, Munising.
August 8, 2021 -American Inn parking lot, Marquette, MI
The old man was very excited to see this truck parked in our motel lot in Marquette, MI…I was appalled.
Southern shoreline of Lake Superior as seen from Sugarloaf Mtn just a few miles from Marquette MI. Again, note the Caribbean-like water…except for the 25 degree temperature differential.
The Great Lakes are cold, clean and drinkable – a welcome change from my home waters.
The old man shed a tear when he came upon this active demolition site of the Presque Isle coal-fired power plant just outside of Marquette. I believe it was a tear of joy as he and his partners sold their coal-focused consultancy 14 years ago in anticipation of this outcome. Thank you Woodmac.
August 10, 2012 – Escanaba MI. His bride’s hometown.
Escanaba’s own hero, Lemrod Lebonte (Lem), and now the old man’s new hero (right up there with Zach Wilson). Unlike Zach, Lem has established himself in the record books on a global scale, as in The Guinness Book of World Records! If you can guess which record he held (hint – it’s no longer an official category due to protests by PETA) send the old man some cash etc. and you will be notified if you win. His trophy appears in this photo.
This photo of Lem’s Uncles and Father was taken in 1960. These guys were Lem’s inspiration for his world record-setting accomplishment; Stephen, Napoleon, Kermit and Lemrod Sr.
Lem’s record setting form (look closely for a hint of what the record was about).When interviewed live on Marquette’s News Channel 6 the following day with the question “what were you thinking about when you were setting the record?” he replied “my girlfriend”! Needless to say the interview was immediately cut short. Editors note: Lem’s former girlfriend is now his lovely wife Wendy, and has been for many years.
What dogs do in Escanaba when their masters are out drinking beer with Patty’s high school classmates.
I hope he doesn’t fall off before I get fed today.
My people enjoying the Meehan lakeside cottage in Escanaba, MI. I love the lake because you can drink it and pee in it at the same time (as long as you face the current).
August 16 – Escanaba, MI – Hayward, WI
Which doesn’t belong and why?
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE REAL BUFFALO?
The old man intends to adapt this forecasting methodology for use on his next offshore adventure, probably not a good idea but that’s never stopped him before.
This is as close as the old man will get to catching a fish on this trip. Photo taken at the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, Hayward, WI.
Caption Contest: Send your clever caption suggestion along with some Maryland Lottery Tickets to “Fish Contest” PO Box 2, Annapolis, MD. Winners will be judged on the number of Lottery Tickets submitted.
Steve, Brett, Patty and Lori enjoying cheap beer at a lakeside bar near Hayward, WI. The old man was probably using the bathroom when this was taken.
We stopped to eat here as the old man was looking for a bargain meal. Eat your heart out Chessie (Editors note – Chessie is Coach’e show-dog brother, if he had worn this hat while showing he’d be a Mega Champion by now.)